Facebook Bug Leads to Fresh Privacy Mess

Chat disabled as company scrambles to fix issue
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2010 11:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – Curious Facebook users found themselves able to access a mega-dose of TMI this week, thanks to a hole in the system that made private chats public. TechCrunch reports that, ironically, the bug occurred because of a flaw in Facebook's privacy settings: Users can now see how their profile appears to their friends—but they could do the same for any friend, exposing his live chats, pending friend requests, and other sensitive info.

When Nick Saint tried to test the bug, he found that chat was "down for maintenance," likely to fix the issue, he writes for Business Insider. "This is terrible timing for Facebook, which has been facing widespread criticism of its privacy policies," he writes. Sure, the problem here is technological competency, not policy, "But the scale of it—allowing any of your friends to monitor your private conversations and even video chats—is massive."

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